A greeting and a question

Welcome to my first ever blog post.

 Learning new ideas is fun. This fun has different sources. Most of it may just be the satisfaction of a natural desire to gather info. Having a stock of new ideas also lets you demonstrate your cleverness, connectedness and usefulness to others. Occasionally ideas can even be instrumentally useful. However best of all is the possibility that one may cause a ‘view quake’ an exciting event where an insight radically changes your world view.

 Even leaving the value of truth aside, these can be very satisfying. Learning more about what is already in front of you can beat exploring new places and seeing new things in the usual manner.

 Experiencing any view quake may itself cause another view quake; the realization that you can be, have been, and probably still are seriously wrong about where and what you are. Hopefully this leaves you hungry and open for more.

 Due to their nature and maybe our own, quakes occur rarely and less frequently over time. Searching widely rather than deeply seems like a good strategy to increase your chances. The net is excellent for this. I will therefore be looking out for novel ideas to post.

 Please share any view quakes you have experienced in the comments. I would like to see what ideas recur and perhaps find some new ones.

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One response to “A greeting and a question

  1. Here are mine, in very loose chronological order:

    Traditional philosophy – I’ll lump for brevity. Read a short introduction all at once when young. I never knew such questions even existed and it literally left me dizzy (a woman asked if I was alright after I had finished). Cartesian radical doubt, Hume’s problem of induction; I took it all seriously. Came out thinking one needs a reason for all beliefs. Most of what people think they can’t defend and was astounded they don’t care.

    Amoral universe – to quote Bertie ‘That Man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve an individual life beyond the grave; that all the labours of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system’

    Moral skepticism – I learnt Moral properties aren’t ontologically fundamental, drew wrong conclusions, passed through teenage years without seriously thinking about ethics.

    Existentialism – No essence and so on and so forth. Someone should write a book on such matters for young people with clear psychology rather then French nonsense.

    Evolution- always knew the gist, school didn’t teach it properly. Like with many others, ‘The selfish gene’ changed the way I viewed the world.

    Reductionism – Just as with DJs, good thinkers know how to break it down.

    Modern philosophy – Finally realized all those important old philosophy questions weren’t about the world.

    Projectivist metaethics – Felt better about using moral language

    Evolutionary psych – People finally started making sense. A deeper story to unify hotch potch of psych findings

    Basic economics – not really a quake but a few key concepts increase clarity of thinking in a surprisingly large number of matters

    Cognitive biases and self deception –learnt how stupid I really am.

    Signaling – the ground is still shaking from this one.

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